Epping racer Ayrton Simmons will make the step up to the British F3 Championship for the remainder of the season, having joined Chris Dittmann Racing.

The 17-year-old was one of the title challengers in the British F4 Championship after an impressive first half of the campaign, which saw him take three wins and a further five podiums.

Simmons moved to JHR Developments for this season after finishing in seventh place with Team Arden last year and his form this campaign meant that he sat in second in the table, 57 points behind leader Kiern Jewiss.

The Epping driver has told the Guardian Series previously of his desire to win the Formula 4 title and it is currently unclear whether he will still compete in the championship after his move to Chris Dittmann Racing.

The 17-year-old will drive a British F3 car for the first time at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium in just over two weeks’ time.

Simmons told the British F3 website: “I’m really excited to be stepping up to BRDC British F3 in time for the Spa Francorchamps round. This is the next step up in my career and while it’s come earlier than we expected, it’s too good an opportunity to miss. It’s a move I expected to make anyway and now I have a chance to learn the car and series ahead of hopefully a full season in 2019.”

Ditttmann added: We’re really pleased to have Ayrton join us ahead of the next round of the BRDC British F3 Championship. He has shown what he is capable of in the past couple of years and we are really looking forward to working with a driver of his potential, especially after we had our best round of the year so far at Snetterton. We’re excited to see what he can do with us and can’t wait to get going at Spa."